Monday, May 31

Sunday, May 30

candy box Colors

Front porch flavors
lemon, cherry, apple, mint, raspberry, melon, orange

Saturday, May 29

in a sea of Lilacs

In a sea of lilac flowers and cloud of fragrance there is a flotilla of Red Admiral butterflies feasting on nectar.

Friday, May 28

the picky yellow Roses

Many more 90 degree days like today and the "picky yellow roses" will be blooming. These are the old fashioned farmstead roses (probably Harrison's Yellow) that have a bazillion thorns per square inch. They are insect magnets and mine often has beady little eyes peeking at you right about eye level. My Plains' garter snake family knows fast food when they see it. Rather startling to see those bright eyes checking you out.
My bush is a sprout from a very old one that is growing in Chadron, NE, around a home built pre-1910.

Thursday, May 27

robin's Treasure

The bees and butterflies are crazy about them at the moment, but come August, the robins and cedar waxwings  will snarf down the chokecherries in a noisy mob scene.

Tuesday, May 25

raining cats and Dogs

Yesterday it was "raining cats and dogs", today I found these at Office Depot. They kindly provide paper for people to try out gel pens before they buy. There were several pages of doodles and try-outs, made me laugh, although some were probably not entirely appropriate or politically correct.

Monday, May 24

the storm Passes

We've had flash flood warnings, tornado watches, high wind advisories and severe thunderstorm warnings posted this afternoon, some going on all at the same time. "Pouring cats and dogs" at school dismissal time made bus duty fun today! Even big kids get drawn into running through puddles and splashing down the sidewalk.
This was looking south as the storm finally moved on with a stiff wind behind it. 1.7" of water in the rain gauge since morning and lots more up in the Hills.

Saturday, May 22

crystal Clear

Look at the way the water eddies over the rock and yet leaves it as visible as though looking through glass. I was experimenting with shutter speeds, and captured this view of a random rock in the middle of Rapid Creek 44N 103W.

Friday, May 21

halloween colors on a spring Day

the black-headed grosbeak has arrived back for the summer, isn't he a stunner?

Thursday, May 20

it's Cymbalic

 with thoughts of a friend,  the Good Knight

Wednesday, May 19

evening sky by Monet

the thunderstorm moves in from the south at sunset

Tuesday, May 18

please use Caution

If you are tempted to use the structural steel at the new University Center as your personal jungle gym...

then please use CAUTION when you hang by your knees, they put the sign so you could read it if you do.

Monday, May 17

double Trouble

What else will the Terrible Twins decide to munch on today? This morning they pulled the marigolds out of the pot by the mailbox, ate the flowers and left the plants in the middle of the road. They do not read plant labels that say "deer resistant".

Sunday, May 16

the one called Blackie

I've never grown fuschia before, arid South Dakota makes it tricky, but this one called Blackie just said, "pick me", so I did. I hope it is lush and gorgeous when the hummingbirds migrate back through in August. I'll let you know, it sure is an eyecatcher after an afternoon shower.

Saturday, May 15

West River Migratory Bird Count day

May 14, 15, and 16 a number of volunteer birders in the Black Hills do an annual migration census. Similar to the Audubon Christmas Bird Count in some respects, we are checking to see what migrants are arriving and passing through. I walked about 4.5 miles along the banks of Rapid Creek, found some old familiar friends seen for the first time this spring. Yellow warblers and song sparrows were the singers, spotted towhees were the skulkers and blue jays were the early warning system. I have 58 species on my list so far, more counting tomorrow.
The eagles I did not see, they move on after spending the winter. This one is on our Academy tipi cover. Our Native American graduating seniors were honored at a Feather Ceremony on Wednesday. An awesome and moving traditional celebration, it was a privilege to be there and watch the kids receive their eagle feathers and eagle plumes.
It has been a week of birds across the spectrum.

Thursday, May 13

rectangular Prisms?

Accidental art at Office Depot

Wednesday, May 12

May 12th in what Hemisphere?

May 12, 2010
Lincoln Academy
Rapid City, SD
Which season is this???

the tree in front of the Window

from "Birches" by Robert Frost

"...I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree, 
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk 
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, 
But dipped its top and set me down again. 
That would be good both going and coming back. 
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. "

Tuesday, May 11

are you Kidding?
We are under ANOTHER winter weather advisory!
SNOW again in the next 24 hrs!

In the words of the immortal Charlie Brown, "Good Grief"

Sunday, May 9

just like a meteor in the Night

this little "shooting star" appeared in the Bluebell Thicket.  A native prairie wildflower, I know where local patches are, but never have had on on my half acre! These flowers are bee pollinated, but due to their odd shape, bees use "buzz pollination".

Flowers like dodecatheon (the shooting stars), nightshade, blueberries and tomatoes are pollinated this way. The bees grasp the anthers, emit high pitched buzzing sounds which cause a kind of sonic explosion of the pollen. These flowers are favored by bumblebees, not honeybees since they have no nectar reward for the pollinators. Who knew??

There is a great explanation on buzz pollination at Put buzz pollination in the search box on the left hand side.

Happy Mother's Day everyone :o)

Saturday, May 8

International Migratory Bird Day

International Migratory Bird Day
May 8, 2010

Rapid Creek, Rapid City, SD   44N 103W
This riparian area was full of migrating warblers this morning,
Welcome small travelers!

Friday, May 7

it all adds Up...

to 1/2 " this time in the rain gauge...glad to have it!

Thursday, May 6


May 5, 2010

May 6, 2010

Wednesday, May 5

a southern Belle

Did you think that magnolias were only for southern belles on plantations and beautiful gardens in places South? This one lives and blooms in the foothills of the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is a hardy yellow one called Butterflies. My friend and I check it daily, like waiting for Christmas, anticipating the flowers. Last year we got a May blizzard just as it started blooming, drat!
Last Friday, it looked like this. It does look like a tree full of butterflies! You can order one from Klehm's Song Sparrow Nursery, if you want to try your luck, the homeowners who planted it are tickled with their success.

Tuesday, May 4

spring twilight Trees

sapphire spring twilight
silhouettes birch and linden
infant leaves await the sun

Monday, May 3

a leo in Taurus

Leo lives on the front porch of a house on the Boulevard...he is absolutely my favorite lawn ornament in the whole West Boulevard historic district. He would not be out of place on the steps of the New York City Public Library.
from the Web

Sunday, May 2

the robins' Orchard

The dwarf North Star cherry in the "North 40" has seen some tough times, but the cherries it produces are marvelous for jelly, and loved by the robins and other fruit fanatics. The "Bluebell Woods" that have grown up around my birdbath/feeder area is entirely bird planted. There is honeysuckle, cotoneaster, mountain ash, chokecherry and gooseberry as the understory of the big ponderosa pines. What I discovered is that there are also cherries, they have bloomed in the thicket for the first time this spring , much to my surprise and delight!
Welcome, robins and cedar waxwings, the feast should be ready for you the second week in July!

Saturday, May 1